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Old 01-15-2010, 04:33 PM   #40
liam
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 18
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I'm a lurker, but wanted to voice my opinion, and in particular, my absolute disagreement with katharine, above.

I think we all need to be mindful that we don't live in a completely homogeneous society and we've all internalized slightly different social expectations. The amount of stigma attached to fatness and love of fatness varies greatly across short distances. What seems de-stigmatized in say, the Pacific Northwest, or Atlanta, might not be so (and is not so) in, say, Los Angeles, or New York City. And what flies in East Los Angeles (and it flies so well) does not necessarily fly in the Financial District.

It's ridiculously naive to say that people just need to be honest and emotionally mature when the amount of ridicule one can be subjected to for being (a) fat, or (b) a FA can often rival that leveled at the queer community. And although violence is rare it does occur.

The difference is huge, also, depending on one's perceived social status and one's chosen profession (this is especially true if one's chosen profession thinks especially highly of itself and has an institutionalized social class structure of its own). You'd be right to condemn that elitist attitude of course, but if you're stuck in that system to speak up is no easy task, and isn't a simple question of emotional maturity.

I know very intelligent fat women who, despite passing the hardest bar exam in the nation, are unable to secure long term employment as attorneys because partners want to "put the best face forward" with respect to their clients. The bigger the pockets of the client, the truer this is. And after the layoffs, in the worst market in years, when the disgusting verbal fat-abuse flies behind closed doors, would you, as a FA, voice your preference and risk your career? Would you introduce these overpaid, emotionally-retarded frat-boys (and worse, emotionally-insecure, skinny, rich women), who hold the keys to your future employment, to your obese partner? You can say that an emotionally mature person would, but how about an emotionally mature person with $200,000 in law school loans to pay off and nowhere else to turn but a job in BigLaw if one wishes to ever pay off that amount?

This sort of institutionalized hatred isn't, of course, universal in the legal field, and not even in BigLaw outside of "important" legal markets, but when you're stuck somewhere. . . you're, well, stuck somewhere. Sometimes the only way to survive is to give in to societal pressures until you can get to a safer more accepting place, but that journey isn't always as easy as we'd like.

(Anticipating responses: how about we ridicule a shallow profession instead of a person who works in a shallow profession; and the emotional immaturity in certain social circles and areas rather than those who feel hammered down by that immaturity?)

And how would you feel as an otherwise emotionally-mature person who grew up with his father proclaiming his hatred for "teh fatties," and those who date them, at the sight of the same jiggle that causes your pulse to quicken? How about you experience that, frequently, when you're a kid just developing your sexuality-- especially when you come to realize that nothing comes close to the way that jiggle makes you feel?

And how about you compound that with the stigmatization you've inadvertently come to know first-hand by getting the crap beat out of you frequently in middle school for being just a little overweight yourself?

Jesus, this stuff isn't always easy for everyone!

I love beautiful fat women. I love them so much. I'd love to advocate for them and tell them they're beautiful and sexy, and altogether praiseworthy at all costs, but what is an acceptable cost for one isn't for another. Life is always complicated.
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